Yesterday you had the chance to vote for the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month (and you still have a chance to vote if you haven’t yet.) and today it’s time to examine the best pitchers of the month.
The rules remain the same. I nominate one player from each team and you vote for one of them. You can vote for whichever pitcher you think had the best month for whatever reason you’d like, but I ask that you base your vote on what the player did in June and not what you think the player will do in the future. This is designed to honor great performances, not the best prospects in the system.
Voting will be open until Wednesday evening and I will announce the winner in Wednesday night’s Minor League Wrap.
Clicking on the player’s name will take them to their milb.com page, where you can do more research if you wish.
Also, I should probably note that if you’re reading this on Google AMP or Apple News, you’re going to have to go to a website to vote.
Lots of good choices this month.
With that said, the nominees are:
Iowa Cubs right-hander Dillon Maples
I’ve got to admit the I-Cubs had a bad month and they have, by far, the worst record in the Pacific Coast League.
But Maples had a strong month out of the bullpen that earned him a promotion to the majors on July 1. And yes, he had a bad game against the Twins, but that doesn’t detract from his strong month in the Iowa bullpen.
Maples made ten appearances in June, pitching a grand total of 9⅔ innings. He gave up just one run and it was unearned. (That’s a 0.00 ERA, in case you’re not reading carefully) He gave up just three hits and held opposing hitters to a .097 batting average. You can probably guess the negative here as he walked six batters in those 9⅔ innings.
Maples was 2-1 with two saves in three chances in June.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Duncan Robinson
The 24-year-old from Dartmouth made four starts in the month of June and he gave up one run in three of them. He gave up two runs in the other one. For the month, Robinson went 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA.
How did he do it? Quite simply, he didn’t walk a batter all month. In 23 innings, Robinson struck out 26 batters and he didn’t walk anyone. He did hit three batters if you want to consider those walks, but that’s still an amazing strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opposing hitters also hit just .228 off of Robinson, so he was doing more than just throwing strikes.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-hander Erich Uelmen
Uelmen was the nominee for South Bend last month and in fact, he made his first three starts of the month for South Bend before a promotion to the Pelicans for his final two starts.
From his month of June, it’s pretty clear why Uelmen was promoted. He made five starts between South Bend and Myrtle Beach and went 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA. He pitched 30⅔ innings and struck out 28 while walking just seven. (He didn’t hit any batters either.) Uelmen held opposing hitters to a .225 average.
If you’re interested in what Uelmen did in Myrtle Beach, he made two starts and won them both and posted a 2.38 ERA. He pitched 11⅓ innings, struck out seven and walked five. Very promising for his first taste of High-A.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Rollie Lacy
I strongly considered not nominating an Emerald and giving Ricky Tyler Thomas a second nomination for South Bend. Or third, if you consider Uelmen an SB Cub instead of a Pelican. What I’m trying to say that while South Bend had some offensive struggles in June, several of their pitchers turned in elite performances.
The nod here goes to Lacy, who’s month was highlighted by a combined no-hitter he threw on June 6 with Ben Hecht. Lacy went seven innings in that game, striking out six and walking two.
That wasn’t the only good game for the 2017 11th-round pick out of Creighton last month. In fact, Lacy made four starts in June and didn’t allow a run in two of them. He allowed one run in another start and two in the fourth one, although only one of those two runs was earned.
The final line on Lacy for the month of June was 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA over 23 innings. Lacy struck out 27 and walked just six. Both earned runs he allowed came on solo home runs. Opposing hitters managed a measly .138 average off Lacy in June.
Eugene Emeralds right-hander Dalton Geekie
Geekie was a 2015 Braves draft pick who got released after he missed all last season after Tommy John surgery. He was working his way back in independent ball this spring when the Cubs signed him in May and sent him to Eugene last month where he’s been the closer.
Geekie pitched 8⅔ innings over six appearances in June for Eugene. He did not allow a run all month and just six hits. Geekie struck out 13 and walked just two. He saved two games in three attempts.
Who is the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Dillon Maples
Tennessee Smokies Duncan Robinson
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Erich Uelmen
South Bend Cubs Rollie Lacy
Eugene Emeralds Dalton Geekie